Russia's Sergey Kirdyapkin came back from behind to win the men's 50km walk title at the World Championships Friday.
Kirdyapkin, 29, who did not finish the race in last year's Beijing Olympic Games, claimed his second world title in three hours 38 minutes 35 seconds following his victory in Helsinki 2005.
Kirdyapkin trailed the then leading Australian duo of Jared Tallent and Luke Adams by more than half a minute at the 35km mark, but he stepped up the pace to win at the iconic Brandenburg Gate in three hours 38 minutes 35 seconds.
He also helped Russia clean sweep all three walk races in the championships. Valeriy Borchin and Olga Kaniskina won the men's and women's 20km races respectively. No nation had won all three walk races in a worlds or Olympics.
"I am very happy that our Russian team made this record," said Kirdyapkin, whose wife Anisya Kirdyapkina just missed out on a medal in fourth place in the women's walk.
"I got an SMS from my wife this morning and she asked me to take revenge. And that's what happened," he said.
"I started slowly and then sped up continuously. But I had to be patient until the end. One of the toughest moments was when the two Australians and Nizhegorodov moved ahead," said Kirdyapkin.
Norway's Trond Nymark, fourth finisher in Helsinki 2005, was second in 3:41:16 and Spain's 39-year-old Jesus Angel Garcia, the 1993 world champion and silver winner in 1995, took the bronze in 3:41:37.
Three Chinese walkers competed in the race. Xu Faguang finished 11th in a personal best of 3:48:52, Zhao Chengliang 15th in 3:53:06 and Li Lei 25th in 4:00:13.
A total of 35 athletes started the race, with 28 of them finishing in front of Berlin's Brandenburg Gate.
Defending champion Nathan Deakes of Austria was not competing due to injury while Olympic champion Alex Schwazer retired early in the race.
(Xinhua News Agency August 22, 2009)